The Confederate States of America dollar
was first issued into circulation in April 1861, when the Confederacy
was only two months old, and on the eve of the outbreak of the Civil War
At first, Confederate currency was accepted throughout the South
as a medium of exchange with high purchasing power. As the war progressed, however, confidence in the ultimate success waned, the amount of paper money increased, and their dates of redemption were extended further into the future. Most Confederate currency carried the phrase across the top of the bill: <small caps>"TWO YEARS AFTER THE RATIFICATION OF A TREATY OF PEACE BETWEEN THE CONFEDERATE STATES AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA"</small caps> then across the middle, the <small caps>"CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA</small caps> will pay" "to <small caps>BEARER</small caps>." As the war progressed, the currency underwent the depreciation and soaring prices characteristic of inflation
. For example, by the end of the war, a cake of soap could sell for as much as $50 and an ordinary suit of clothes was $2,700.
Near the end of the war, the currency became practically worthless as a medium of exchange. In no small part this is because Confederate currency was actually not money, but bills of credit, just as was seen in the Revolutionary War, and concomitantly not secured, or backed by any assets. Just as the currency issued by the Continental Congress was deemed... Read More